Youngest-ever Formula 1 race winner Max Verstappen has hailed his belief in Red Bull as being key to his decision to signing a new contract with the team taking him to the end of the 2020 season, but would not be drawn on what alternative options he had.

Red Bull announced on Friday in Austin that Verstappen had agreed to an extended F1 deal, putting an end to speculation he could be tempted by a move to either Mercedes or Ferrari for 2019, with both teams having seats free.

Having spent his entire F1 career under Red Bull's wing, Verstappen said his continued belief in the team was crucial to his decision to continue.

"I think I believe in the team and also they gave me the chance to start in Formula 1 and I felt good in the team," Verstappen said.

"Of course we had our ups and downs this year but as you can see they’ve been working very hard to get better and again today it showed that we are very competitive and I really enjoy it here with the team and I think that’s also really important and that’s why I decided to extend."

Asked about any alternative options, Verstappen said: "At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter anymore, does it?  We extended our contract."

Verstappen currently has one of the highest DNF rates in F1 this season after numerous technical failures and several early lap clashes, but he hopes Red Bull can emerge from a tough year stronger.

"Of course we had our difficult moments this year, but we definitely improved," Verstappen said.

"Maybe it was good to have those kind of things happening. I think you learn a lot from it. Definitely for next year and the year onwards from there, we can be stronger." 


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